Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So what have I been doing?

Gosh! The time just whizzes by, and my head is spinning with all that has been going on lately! I haven't even posted pictures of my booth at Open Studios, which was the 19th-20th of this month! Here's how it looked:

I had great sales both days, even sold several of my framed pieces! And I've been filling special orders ever since... just about finished with them now, although I need to do another one to replace one that came out different than I was aiming for. I hate when I can't replicate something! A gal saw this shirt and wanted one like it:

I used the same technique, and I thought, the same colors, but I think I added a color that wasn't on the original, and the thickness of the new shirt caused the pattern to come out differently:

So now I have to try again to get one to come out like the first one above.
Meanwhile, I posted awhile back that I am working with a friend to create some caps for my line: Doo-rags, surgical caps and chemo caps. I dyed the fabric and shipped to her, and she will do the sewing. Well, yesterday I bit the bullet and ordered a bolt of muslin that I plan to sew into scrub tops, and dye! Always something, but this has been on my mental list for awhile now. We have a medical center in town, and a lot of doctors' offices, a walk-in clinic, etc. And the place that used to sell medical clothing closed down awhile back. This town loves tie-dye, so I'm thinking I might be able to get a niche market going... why not? The question will be, do I want to do all that sewing myself, or try and find someone local to contract it out to? I would really love to just dye the fabric and hand off to a professional seamstress, but I need to keep the cost down, too! We'll see... I'm going to try a few myself, then see what I think. I'll post pix when I get a few done.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Community Service projects

I am a member of our local Quilters' Guild, and enjoy attending the monthly meetings. Each month we have a different agenda... sometimes making hand-stitched squares for a quilt, sometimes we have a guest presenter demonstrating or talking about a technique. All through the year, we have community service projects we work on: quilts, pillow cases, walker pouches, back packs... the kits are made up and we sign them out to sew and return. Last night, we had presentations made to three organizations in the community that we support: a convalescent hospital, a women's shelter, and the pediatric intensive care unit of our hospital.
These are some of the quilts and pillow cases waiting to be presented.
Marcia Sweet is presenting a bundle of walker pouches to the representative of the convalescent hospital. Patients with walkers will be able to carry items in the pouches that are attached to their walkers.
Two of the nurses from the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) display one of the children's quilts they are receiving.
It is incredibly heart-warming to see the culmination of a year's worth of work on the part of our group going to fill the needs of our community. Another member also talked about working with several others to create quilts for every bed in our local homeless shelter. She will be able to present 34 quilts next month as a result of their efforts. What a great group!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Life in the fast lane...

Whew! Where has the time gone? I have been busy getting ready for this weekend's Open Studios Tour, that's where! And one of the nice things is, I was the subject of an article in our local paper on Wednesday! You can check it out here. And if you're in the Flagstaff area, I hope you stop by and see me!
On another note, I am collaborating on a project with a friend of mine to create some new items for my shop, and dyed 15 yards of fabric for her to sew. I am thinking of adding dyed fabrics to my inventory next year, and this was a great opportunity for me to test dyeing lengths of fabric. Here are pix of 2 of the pieces:
I broke the fabric down to 2 1/2 yard pieces for this project, but I'm thinking I could dye as much as 5 yards at a time with larger bins. This is sooooo easy, and I'm really delighted with my results! I used low water immersion... and I mean very low water. The piece on the left too 4 cups of liquid... 3 of dye and one of plain water, plus 2 cups of soda ash solution. The others only needed 2 cups of dye and one of plain water plus the soda ash. I'm used to dyeing t-shirts, which are very thirsty and require more dye. This was awesome! Can't wait to do more.
Stay tuned, I will post pix next week of my Open Studios setup. I'm sharing space with another artist at her home, and get the garage all to myself!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Oooooh! Groovy!

Ever since I got Rayna Gillman's book, 'create your own hand-printed cloth', I've been wanting to find time to experiment with several of the techniques she describes so well. One of the techniques is gelatin plate printing, and it's been on my 'to do' board for months. Then when I got the Aug/Sept issue of Quilting Arts magazine and read Frances Holliday Alford's article 'Flight of fantasy - A gelatin monoprint process', I got excited all over again at the possibilities of using this process. Well, today I finally got my act together and have begun experimenting. I created 6 prints using various fabric paints, added some resists (thread, torn newspaper), and even played with a ghost print that produced a design left from a paper towel I used to blot the paint! I'm totally hooked now, and can't wait to do some more, maybe coming up with some idea in advance about what I want and how I will use the results. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of today's first steps...
Here's the gelatin plate after I pulled the prints. I understand that I can leave the paint and just add to it to create more visual interest, so I'm trying it that way this time.
These are the first six prints. Bottom left is the first print, top left a ghost print from the same paint. Lower middle - more paint was added and thread arranged on top to create some resist.
Upper middle - ghost print with torn newspaper added. Lower right - more paint added. Upper right, ghost print after plate was blotted with paper towel.
Here's a closeup of the ghost print with paper towel design.